Running to help overcome cancer

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 02 April 2018, 12:00AM

Running the distance for childhood cancer is Tuamanulele Leillani Jackson. 

She will take part in the Savai’i Marathon on 7 April, 2018. 

Tuamanulele, who will be completing the 4km distance, is appealing for public assistance in funding the marathon in the amount of $2,000. 

This will be donated to Childhood Cancer and raise funds for the Champions Fund Initiative, which belongs to Project Paeds Samoa. 

A member of the Outrun cancer, which was created three years ago, Tuamanulele told the Samoa Observer that some childhood cancers are curable and treatable.

“Did you know that some form of treatment of childhood cancer is available in Samoa?” she said. 

“For many of us, we may have experienced first-hand the loss of a family member or a close friend to cancer. 

“Through the social media revolution, popular spaces like Facebook or twitter, people often publically declare their stance to fight cancer, remember those dear to our heart who are no longer with us and pay homage to the champions who have survived cancer.

“These stories resonate with us one way or another. They lead us to reflect on our own journey, inspire us to value life, and consider how one can contribute to supporting and remembering the parent, spouse, sibling, child or close friend who has been affected by cancer. It is their heroic stories that draw us together.” 

She elaborated on the how the initiative started for the Samoan version of Outrun Cancer, three years ago. 

“Outrun Cancer is an initiative to raise awareness of cancer and healthy living. It is also an opportunity to raise funds for certain initiatives that support people living with cancer in Samoa. 

“Outrun Cancer has been fortunate to utilise the Savai’i Marathon as a platform to push the cancer awareness and healthy living. 

“This year, we have chosen Childhood Cancer and raise funds for the Champions Fund Initiative, which belongs to Project Paeds Samoa. 

“The Champions Fund is to support the children who are currently receiving some sort of cancer treatment at the T.T.M. Hospital. 

“The Fund is managed by Dr. Salote Vaai and Paediatrician Registrar Dr. Litara Esera and mainly to provide transport costs and lighten the cancer burden on the families.

“We run/walk to create awareness of healthy living. Cancer has no face, has no preference until it happens to someone we love or us. We also run/walk to encourage physical activity in our communities,” said Tuamanulele.

“This year our team is made up of my son Moli Maurice Sapatu, 11, and my friend, Seutatia Vaai, who is the Project Paeds activities co-ordinator and Rev. Senetenari Autagavaia from Palauli. 

“However, our team may grow because we have some little humans who have expressed interest to join depending on parental approval. So our Outrun Cancer may grow.”

“Our target goal this year is $2,000 and so far we have received $1,300 of pledges and donations.” 

If you are interested to sponsor a runner, please contact Tuamanulele Leilani Jackson via Facebook. 

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 02 April 2018, 12:00AM

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